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Monday, July 28, 2014

Society's changes are not all for the best

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Well, school is back in session and even without kids in school any longer, the tempo of life changes when the students return to class.

Like many in my age bracket, I have grandchildren back in the classroom. And like virtually all of you, I worry - perhaps needlessly - about what this world promises them.

I know, I know - every generation ponders the issue of quality of life for the kids today versus what it was like growing up in our era.

Our parents had the same thoughts on our future and I can only assume their parents had similar thoughts.

And though I could easily point to massive social changes today, the same could be said for our parents' generation and all of those that preceded them.

The only certainty is change. The uncertainty is if that change is for the good or for the bad.

I will not inject politics into this brief discussion. The changes may be somewhat driven by the political climate. But my primary concern lies in the area of social and cultural changes.

Those are more difficult to address, to change and quite frankly, to understand.

It seems to me - and I certainly could be wrong - that fringe elements of social civility are setting the agenda today.

We accept things today that would have been flatly rejected and scorned in the past. Civility and respect are empty words. And they are important aspects of society that far too many simply do not understand.

Though somewhat unrelated, I read this week where our primary dictionary will now include the term "f-bomb." Now this is the world which my grandchildren will know.

The surprise and shock of this revelation is a reflection of the world in which I was raised.

But that has changed.

And here's the kicker - it's our fault. We allowed this decay of values to slowly creep into the national dialogue. We may have spoken with passion about the diminishment of respect in social discourse. But did our vocal opposition end there?

Sure it did. Don't kid yourself.

We allowed through apathy or neglect to defend those values that made American society great. Perhaps we weren't completely silent. But we failed to raise our voices to the level of outrage.

And so, welcome to the new world.

We often look to our schools to help restore this appreciation of personal responsibility. We look to schools to instill the respect sorely missing from society. We look to schools to do the job parents have done since the foundation of this great country.

That's a lot of pressure on the education system. And you know as well as I do, that is also a task that is virtually impossible to accomplish.

But for now, it may be our only hope.